Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Window Cleaning News

A window washer smiles for the camera as he rappels down the side of a building. These are the Humans of Iowa City, a Facebook snapshot project by Bobby Jett, 52, of Iowa City. He’s a lifelong resident who wants to share the beauty and diversity of his hometown in the most widespread way possible these days, via social media. So far, 2,535 people “like” his Facebook page and 793 are “talking about this.”“I’m surprised at how fast it took off,” said Jett.

OFW falls to death while cleaning window in Hong Kong: Manila – The family of an overseas Filipino worker who fell off from a 12-storey building in Hong Kong has accepted her death. Melanie Nobleza, 45-years old, was employed as a household service worker in Hong Kong. Nobleza's death was relayed to her family almost after a week. The OFW (overseas foreign worker) was reportedly cleaning a window of her employer's home when she accidentally fell to her death. Nobleza had been working in Hong Kong for almost 25 years and had been treated well by her employer, her family said. The family said they will not request for an investigation into her death. They only want her remains repatriated to her hometown in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo as soon as possible.

Worker who fell from Seattle building dies: A 35 year old man who fell 50 feet off a building near Seattle Center this morning has died. The man, reportedly an iron worker, was on scaffolding at a building at 101 Taylor Ave. N. when he fell, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center though he was unconscious and had no pulse when medics arrived, Moore said. Initially, it was reported that the man was a window washer, but it has since been learned he was an iron worker for North Coast Iron in Anacortes. Times news partner KING-TV reported that a co-worker said the victim was on his first day of the job. Worker David Widmer told KING the man had unclipped his safety gear when moving on scaffolding on the top of the building when he tripped over a welder and fell.

Cleaning windows at Dublin's Convention Centre is an extreme sport: Forget the stepladder, bucket of suds and a squeegee - window cleaners for the Convention Centre Dublin must be proficient in abseiling to be up to their role. Thankfully the rain held off for these thrill seeking workers who managed to brave the dizzying heights of the Centre's building frontage. An adventure in itself, the team of window buffers successfully conquered the mountainous (and glassy) terrain in order to work up a decent shine.  "In my profession I work hard but I'll never stop," sings George Formby in the 1930s classic "When I'm Cleaning Windows". Well these lads definitely earned an "honest bob" as they climbed "right to the top". 

Not such a happy new year for staff at London's City Hall, what with continuing job cuts and the prospect of bumping up against Boris Johnson in the lifts. But a slightly less murky one than the previous 12 they've spent in Norman Foster's glass helmet. The windows have been a problem since day one. And for once we can't blame Boris for an exterior window-cleaning bill that started under Ken Livingstone at £61,000 a year and is now £140,000 – all those curvy glass panels take a lot of abseiling, cherry-picking and water fed through poles. And then there's the complication of cleaning inside: a subject of protracted dispute between the company contracted to clean the windows, the makers of the blinds on the windows, the Greater London Authority and the owner of the building, developer More London, which owns the adjacent office development as well. The blinds sit between glass panels, many of which are hard to access, and have not worked properly in several parts of the building, including Boris's own office – with the result that the windows have not been as all would wish since the building opened in 2002. More London and the GLA say sense has prevailed, and a squeegee gang will get to work later this month. Better 12 years late than not at all.

The biggest cleaning event in Scotland: The countdown is on to the opening of Cleaning Expo Scotland 2014, Scotland’s leading showcase for all products and services used in the cleaning and support services industry. Cleaning Expo Scotland 2014 is already set to be a must-attend event with over 1,500 pre-registered visitors already and a significant number of high profile companies exhibiting. Cleaning Expo Scotland 2014 is set to be the largest cleaning event ever held in Scotland. It is taking place at the award-winning Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow, on 3rd-4th September 2014. Visitors to the show can expect to find numerous new, innovative products and information designed to assist in lowering costs and improving standards of cleaning and hygiene, as well as looking at such issues as graffiti removal, chewing gum removal, insurance, legislation and environmental issues.

Investigation finds no evidence to support allegations of misconduct by city of Bainbridge Island employee: City of Bainbridge Island officials said an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by a city employee has found no evidence of wrongdoing. City officials called for an investigation earlier this year after two Bainbridge residents claimed that Josh Machen, the city's planning manager, had improperly used his city job to promote his private window-washing business. The outside investigation was conducted by Claire Cordon, a Seattle lawyer who specializes in investigating discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing and mismanagement claims. “Allegations were raised regarding the operation of an employee’s private business," City Manager Doug Schulze said in a statement Friday. "In order to determine whether any policy violation occurred, the city hired an outside investigator to complete an investigation." “The investigator could find no basis for concluding the employee engaged in any type of quid pro quo solicitation regarding the private business, or other unethical conduct,” Schulze said.
The allegations against Machen were made in October by Marcus Gerlach, a Bainbridge resident and attorney, and Gary Tripp, the director of the Bainbridge Defense Fund and an outspoken critic of the city of Bainbridge Island. Tripp had previously distributed photos via his email listserv that Gerlach said he had taken of his neighbor's house, which Gerlach said showed Machen washing the windows of the home, and claimed Machen was hired for the job the day after his neighbor had a shoreline permit deemed as complete by the city of Bainbridge Island. The claims of unethical behavior were repeated in the days before the November election by former councilman Bill Knobloch, who wrote in an email distributed by Tripp: "What is it going to take for the current administration to clean up the unfair and unequal treatment of people applying for city-issued permits?"
Machen has been a city employee since 1995. He has been washing windows since he put himself through college by washing windows, and told the investigator that he still earns extra money from the business and said he uses it to pay for his son's school and sports activities. On the allegation that Machen had washed windows for Gerlach's neighbor while they were seeking a permit from the city, the investigator found that the homeowners had actually contacted Machen's company after seeing him wash windows at a neighbor's home, and got an estimate from Machen's son for the job. The woman said she did not realize Machen worked for the city, and there was never any discussion about the permit that the city was processing. The investigator also noted that the permit has yet to be approved by the city. No evidence of any impropriety was found in any of the other allegations made by Gerlach.
"This investigation, which included 38 witness interviews and the review of several hundred documents, did not reveal factual information to support allegations that Machen engaged in unethical conduct or that he had a conflict of interest related to his window-washing business and his duties as a [city of Bainbridge Island] employee," Cordon wrote in her report. "There was no evidence Machen engaged in quid pro quo solicitations involving his private window-washing business and his duties as a [city of Bainbridge Island] employee," Cordon concluded. Some of those interviewed for the investigation called the allegations "ridiculous" and "spurious" and called Machen an honest professional who was an asset in his city job. The allegations, however, were serious, Cordon noted. "Machen has been accused of engaging in egregious misconduct — offering to give property owners favorable land-use decisions in his capacity as the [city] planning manager in exchange for jobs washing people's windows," she wrote.

Focus on outdoor jobs: Take your career out of the office - Where are the jobs? At Jobcentre Plus we found 1,562 land and garden-related jobs, including 1,234 openings for gardeners and groundsmen. Another key sector if you’re looking for work outside an office is in building and construction. From brickies and labourers to roofers and glaziers, there are jobs up and down the country. There are 16,432 outdoor construction jobs at Jobcentre Plus, including 1,067 bricklayers (nationwide from £12 to £16 an hour), 7,249 labourers (Swindon, Leeds, Didcot and Rotherham from national minimum wage up to a top-end of £11), and 579 scaffolders. Add to this another 1,107 delivery drivers and 154 window cleaners and you can easily stay out and about with your work.

Meet iGlass: the touch screen tech trying to change shop displays: Done properly, a shop display window can be a great way of enticing people into your store. Thing is, it’s only really useful when your shop’s open. iGlass might be one way of changing that. The product, which claims to turn a standard storefront window into a touch-screen, appears to have a lot of potential. People can, for instance, buy products, get quotes, browse catalogues or brochures, and view and be alerted to product information. The window display technology works with adhesive rear projection film. Images, video and dynamic media content are projected onto the storefront window — or mobile display — turning it into a TV screen. Music and sound effects are also possible add-ons.
Digital innovation company NXT\, which is launching the product in South Africa, says that the solution can be tailor-made to specific retailer needs and cater for different glass or surface dimensions. iGlass can also be used to play games designed by the retailer, take part in competitions and importantly, share the company information socially on multiple platforms, including social media. iGlass is targeted at retailers and landlords of properties with high foot traffic rates who want to draw more passing trade, but are facing traditional constraints in the retail space. These include limited shopping hours, limited floor space for displays, and increased rental space costs.
“The vision and strategy is to enable retailers to combine the best of digital interactivity and ‘always on’ culture with the familiarity and tangible benefits of the traditional retail environment,” says Wayne Levine, CEO of NXT. Among the planned phases for development is the introduction of an application that will enable consumers to interact with any store that uses the technology, and transmits information from iGlass to themselves, or share with their friends on social media.
NXT\ also plans to introduce QR code technology that will enable a ‘virtual shopping experience’ for consumers using iGlass – as they will be able to use a mobile phone to read the code, which will then direct them to the respective retailer’s mobile site, allowing them to make purchases or conduct transactions on the spot or in the privacy of their homes at a later stage. The use of QR codes will also enable retailers to generate customer leads. That would give it some features reminiscent of the award-winning interactive display iKineo built for men’s retailer Loom. The difference being that while iGlass is more universally implementable, it doesn’t carry quite the same levels of bespoke interactivity.

Intrepid Media, in Hartlepool, says residents are taking note: A North-East business helping companies spread word of their services has hailed its success. Intrepid Media, based in Hartlepool, delivers offers and promotions through the doors of thousands of homes. Sharon Powell, director, says its work is being supported by residents who are opting to back local companies at an increasing rate. She said the national average for responses to direct mail is about 2.6 per cent, with homeowners in Hartlepool supporting firms at double that rate. She said: “We appreciate not everyone likes leaflets through their doors but it is really tough for local companies at the moment and they need to look at ways to market themselves. “Leafleting is a massive boost for any business, not only does it raise the awareness, it also allows you to put forward special offers forward to catch the eye.”
Intrepid Media, which has been running for nearly five years, delivers about 10,000 leaflets in up to ten days, promoting various companies including window cleaners, plumbers and restaurants. She added: “If you put out 10,000 leaflets and you are getting a response of up to four per cent that’s 400 sales or new customers. “The people of Hartlepool are great because if they spot a service they're interested in, they are more likely to use a local company and keep business in the town.”

Traffic jam politics possible but unlikely in Mass. The process of closing lanes of traffic for planned events, such as maintenance or construction, requires permits, administrative meetings, contract stipulations, federal guidelines, and OK’s from on-site engineers that would make it difficult to institute a unilateral lane closure or traffic detour without eliciting some raised eyebrows, in the same way the New Jersey bridge lane closure immediately sparked skepticism from all corners. 
At weekly meetings, the state Department of Transportation brings together a gaggle of in-house staff, including electricians, plumbers, structural engineers, construction and maintenance workers, as well as outside contractors, utilities representatives, and permit recipients to talk about upcoming projects that require traffic detours. “The purpose is to evaluate and prioritize what everyone needs to do, whether or not work can take place nearby or in tandem with something else, or not; and to develop a schedule based on those needs and priorities,” said MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes.
Those planned closures are also subject to many restrictions. The maximum width, length, and duration of lane closures is written into construction contracts. Even when window-washers rappel down the side of the Prudential Center and a lane of traffic is closed on the Massachusetts Turnpike in case of a fallen squeegee or bucket, the closure requires a MassDOT permit. And if traffic backs up too badly because of a lane closure, Verseckes said, the state agency has the right to immediately put any project on hold to allow traffic to flow freely.

During the reign of King George III, the street scape of Dublin developed a distinctive style, with long terraced homes overlooking central squares or parks. Because panes of window glass were taxable, the homes used large panes — creating town homes that were bright as a result. Following the Act of Union in 1801, where Ireland’s parliament was dissolved and MPs instead sat in the House of Commons in London, the parliament building on College Green was sold the Bank of Ireland. Its new owners were reluctant to pay the window tax bill on the large building and instead ordered all of them to be bricked up. To this day, the building’s windows are sealed.

When is an office 'professional' — or not? The board revisited the question of whether a window-cleaning company's office met the code's definition of "professional office." Ike Israel of Richmond Realty met with the board a week earlier to discuss the definition as it applies to a former gas station site on the southeast corner of the Pulaski Street-Osborn Avenue intersection. The site is currently in the village center zoning use district, which allows "professional offices."
While board members would like to see the site, now abandoned, rehabilitated and put back to use — the supervisor referred to it as a "blight" — last week they expressed concern over the inclusion of a window-cleaning company in the professional office definition, largely because the use would involve parking of the company's fleet of trucks in the parking lot. Much like a taxi cab company, the trucks would be dispatched from that location and parked there overnight. Board members agreed that the applicant should meet with the board at a future work session to discuss his plans.

Wokingham tradesmen strip off for a cheeky charity calender - Three carpenters, a landscape gardener and a window cleaner are among a group of daring Wokingham workers who posed in the buff for the black and white calendar. Tattooed tradesmen stripped to support a disabled children’s centre in a naked charity calendar. The men have carefully covered their modesty with the tools of their trades in a brave bid to raise funds for town charity Building for the Future. Mr Townsend wanted to thank businesswomen Jane Williams and Laurenne Dorgan for giving their time and skill to produce the artwork. The project is not the first attempt at a nude calendar this year, with borough councillors attempting a similar product this summer before falling short of volunteers. However organisers hope the bid could be revived for a Christmas 2014 release. Hundreds of copies of Wokingham Tradesmen 2014 have been printed and are available from VIP Nails & Beauty in Bush Walk at £5.

Projections for the period 2013-2016: About 22 million units of service robots for personal use to be sold. It is projected that sales of all types of robots for domestic tasks (vacuum cleaning, lawn-mowing, window cleaning and other types) could reach almost 15.5 million units in the period 2013-2016, with an estimated value of US$ 5.6 billion.

Ecovacs Winbot: Window-cleaning robot spied surfing up vertical windows at CES 2014 - Some things at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas just can't help but grab our attention. And the Winbot is one such piece of tech - because it can wander up and down vertical surfaces while cleaning windows. We're not really ones for cleaning, so the fact there's a robot that can do that puts a smile on our faces. But one that can work its way up vertical surfaces? It's head spinning stuff. Mesmerised by this little bot, we watched it clean the same piece of glass and continue to detect the edges so as not to fall off. And, surprisingly, it's not particularly noisy - we thought it would blurt out the noise in order to adhere itself to the surface, but that's not the case. And far from black magic, Winbot uses two suction rings to stick to the glass. If the outer ring senses any loss of suction then clever bot will retreat the other way. We hope it can't go across ceilings, though, as with a 2kg weight if there was a powercut a flying Winbot might not be so much fun. 

Arrest for air rifle: Police have arrested a man after what appeared to be a firearm was allegedly pointed at a window washer yesterday. Sergeant Andrew Stilton said it was not a firearm but a sawn-off air rifle which looked like a pump-action shotgun. "It was very realistic looking." Senior sergeant Allan Whaley said at 11.45am a fight broke out outside the New Plymouth fire station on Liardet St.
It was alleged the man had got out of his car and pointed the air rifle at one of the window washers, known as the squeegee bandits. Mr Stilton said police had tracked the man down by going to the address his car was registered to. They had managed to get in contact with the man who told them he was at Burger King and they went and picked him up. The man would be facing firearms charges, he said. Investigations are continuing and police want to speak to anyone who has any information about the incident.

A clean break from tradition: Dhawan, who travelled abroad researching housekeeping services, re-invented the process for India, combining their methods with those of our other outsourced help — bais. "You can't use a rod with a duster to clean, you need to get up there to wipe down the fans," he says, claiming he has timed each job to the last second. "One-and-a-half minutes to clean one window, four to make a bed," he counts.

Superheroes Surprise Children In Hospital - LOS ANGELES, CA - Superman, Batman and Spiderman made a special visit to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles to visit some of the young patients. Superman and Spiderman showed that they cared because they were taking time from saving the world to clean windows at the hospital and check in on the children. While children looked on, they were joined by Batman who decided to skip the window cleaning and instead, shook hands with those at the hospital. The group was there to cheer everyone up as they get better and also to make sure they have a clear view of the Los Angeles skyline.

SHERIDAN — Capt. Daniel Marshall of Sheridan assumed command of the Wyoming Army National Guard 920th Forward Support Company this month at the company headquarters in Worland. This company provides maintenance support and logistic support such as food, ammunition, water and basic supplies to combat artillery units. Marshall previously served as logistics officer with the 960th Brigade Support Battalion. He has been a member of the Wyoming Army National Guard for one year. Marshall owns and operates A Clear View window cleaning service in Sheridan. Marshall assumed command from Capt. Alexander Fisher.

Small-business owner Michael Stuart to run for Urban County Council - Michael Stuart, a small-business owner and longtime community volunteer, has filed to run for the Urban County Council. Stuart has filed to run in the 2nd District, which includes the Masterson Station and Meadowthorpe neighborhoods. The seat is held by Councilwoman Shevawn Akers. Stuart, who currently serves on the LexArts board of directors, was president and board member of the Living Arts and Science Center for seven years. He volunteers for the West End Alliance. Stuart, 34, has owned a window-cleaning business for the past 13 years.

No comments:

Search This Blog